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Eugène Ysaÿe

Biography

Born: July 16, 1858; Liège, Belgium   Died: May 12, 1931; Liege, Belgium  
Eugène Ysaÿe was one of the greatest violinists who ever lived. He coupled beauty of tone and remarkable technical ability with a depth of musical expression that few violinists before or since can be said to have equalled, or even approached. Ysaÿe succeeded in breathing new life into an art that had become polarized by two divergent styles and personalities: the austere temperament of Joseph Joachim (1831-1907), and the flashy Read more virtuosity of Pablo de Sarasate (1844-1908). Ysaÿe achieved a grand synthesis of these two approaches by imbuing the "serious" music of Mozart, Brahms, and Beethoven, so dear to Joachim, with the flashy yet never superficial brilliance that Sarasate had been wont to apply to "lesser" works in the repertoire. Ysaÿe became the leading violinist of his time, spawning many illustrious pupils and proteges, among them Josef Gingold and Fritz Kreisler. Ysaÿe was also an accomplished composer, whose Six Sonatas for Solo Violin, Opus 27 (1924) are recognized masterpieces of the genre.

Eugène Ysaÿe was born on July 16, 1858 in Liege, Belgium. He received his first violin lessons from his father when he was five years old. After this he studied with Rodolphe Massart, making his first public appearance at age seven. Ysaÿe was not, however, a prodigy; he was later kicked out of the Liege Conservatory due to poor performance! But he persisted, and went on to study with the famous violinist and composer Henryk Wieniawski (1835-80) with whom he made considerable progress; he was soon accepted as a student by the legendary Belgian violinist-composer Henri Vieuxtemps (1820-81).

In 1879, Ysaÿe made the acquaintance of Joseph Joachim, and performed with Clara Schumann. He soon began touring, visiting Norway in 1881, and playing at the Paris Conservatory in 1883. In Paris, he befriended the composer Cesar Franck, who wrote his beautiful Sonata for Piano and Violin in A Major (1886) as a wedding present for Ysaÿe. This work soon became a signature piece for the violinist, who stamped it with his own inimitable style.

During this period, Ysaÿe founded the Concerts in Brussels that bore his name, as well as his own string quartet, which included his pupil Mathieu Crickboom, to whom Ysaÿe later dedicated the fifth of his Six Sonatas for Solo Violin. This ensemble premiered Claude Debussy's String Quartet No. 1 in G Minor, Opus 10 in 1893. A year later Ysaÿe made his first appearance in America, where he met with tremendous sucess, finally returning in 1918 to take over the post of conductor for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra which he held until 1922.

After his retirement from conducting, Ysaÿe devoted himself fully to composing, and the teaching of a select group of pupils, including Josef Gingold, who later went on to achieve international fame. By this time, Ysaÿe's performance technique had declined, due to a rapid deterioration of his right-arm stability -- a condition known to violinists as "bow tremor." This was probably the result of diabetes, with which he had been struggling for some time. Despite the fact that his performance career lasted for only 25 years, Ysaÿe exercised a tremendous influence on violinsts -- an influence still being felt today. His personal aura and grand musical sensibility were only two aspects of a complex personality that not only "played" but also lived the music he held dear. He was an authentic performer, an artist of immense stature and unmatched musical ability. Eugène Ysaÿe died on May 12, 1931, at the age of 72. Read less
Ysaÿe: Solo Violin Sonatas / Ilya Kaler
Release Date: 02/17/2004   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8555996   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-25 of 140 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Bach & Ysaye, Vol. 1
    Label: Cavi Music   Catalog: 8553320 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Eugène Ysaÿe
    Performer:  Antje Weithaas
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  • 2.
    Homage To Carlo Van Neste: Belgian Violin School
    Label: Pavane Records   Catalog: 7550 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Charles-Auguste de Bériot,  Francis De Bourguignon,  Frederic Devreese,  Jacques Henri  ... 
    Performer:  Carlo Van Neste,  Naum Sluszny,  Eric Feldbusch
    Conductor:  Edgard Doneux,  Franz André,  Daniël Sternefeld,  Rene Defossez
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Trio Reine Elisabeth De Belgique
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  • 3.
    Ysaye: Six Sonatas For Solo Violin / Jassen Todorov
    Label: Gega New   Catalog: 76 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eugène Ysaÿe
    Performer:  Jassen Todorov
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  • 4.
    Complete Vengerov: Recordings 1991-2007 [19 CDs & 1 DVD]
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 631514 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Itamar Golan,  Maxim Vengerov,  Alexander Markovich,  Daniel Barenboim  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Kurt Masur,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Claudio Abbado  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 5.
    Dance Of Shadows / Roman Mints
    Label: Quartz Records   Catalog: 2103 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eugène Ysaÿe,  Astor Piazzolla,  Dobrinka Tabakova,  Alfred Schnittke  ... 
    Performer:  Roman Mints
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  • 6.
    Ysaye: Sonatas for Solo Violin / Tianwa Yang
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 572995 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eugène Ysaÿe
    Performer:  Tianwa Yang
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  • 7.
    Ysaye: The Complete Sonatas For Solo Violin, Op. 27; Sonata For Two Violins
    Label: Zig Zag   Catalog: 342 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Eugène Ysaÿe
    Performer:  Tedi Papavrami,  Svetlin Roussev
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  • 8.
    Ysaye: Sonatas For Solo Violin / Karl Stobbe
    Label: Avie   Catalog: 2310 Release Date: 05/13/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eugène Ysaÿe
    Performer:  Karl Stobbe
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  • 9.
    Works By Bartok, Beethoven, Waxman And Ysaye
    Label: Genuin Musikproduction   Catalog: 14316 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eugène Ysaÿe,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Béla Bartók,  Franz Waxman
    Performer:  Tobias Feldmann,  Boris Kusnezow
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  • 10.
    Tianwa Yang: Live Concert In St Petersburg
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 2110283 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Johannes Brahms,  Eugène Ysaÿe
    Performer:  Tianwa Yang
    Conductor:  Vladimir Lande
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra
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  • 11.
    Vadim Repin - Early Recordings
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 2121 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Eugène Ysaÿe
    Performer:  Vadim Repin
    Conductor:  Arnold Katz
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  • 12.
    20th Century Masterworks For Solo Violin
    Label: Centaur Records   Catalog: 3315 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Paul Hindemith,  Eugène Ysaÿe,  Béla Bartók,  Coleridge-Tayl Perkinson
    Performer:  Daniel Stepner
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  • 13.
    The Art Of Arthur Grumiaux
    Label: Andromeda   Catalog: 9116 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Schubert,  Felix Mendelssohn,  César Franck  ... 
    Performer:  Arthur Grumiaux,  Riccardo Castagnone,  Hans Altmann,  Hermann von Beckerath
    Conductor:  Frieder Weissmann,  Lorin Maazel,  Hans Müller-Kray,  Bernhard Paumgartner  ... 
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  • 14.
    Poeme - Works For Violin & Piano  / Lisa Jacobs, Ksenia Kouzmenko
    Label: Challenge   Catalog: 72624 Release Date: 02/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eugène Ysaÿe,  César Franck
    Performer:  Lisa Jacobs,  Ksenia Kouzmenko
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  • 15.
    Mister Paganini... Kreisler, Ysaye / Laurent Korcia
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 5344 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Fritz Kreisler,  Eugène Ysaÿe,  Niccolò Paganini
    Performer:  Laurent Korcia
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  • 16.
    Virtuoso Violin Works
    Label: Genuin Musikproduction   Catalog: 13539 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Pancho Vladiguerov,  Niccolò Paganini,  Fritz Kreisler,  Eugène Ysaÿe  ... 
    Performer:  Graham Jackson,  Elina Rubio
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  • 17.
    Ysaye: Solo Sonatas / Kristof Barati
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94678 Release Date: 08/27/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eugène Ysaÿe
    Performer:  Kristóf Baráti
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  • 18.
    Eugene Ysaye: Six Sonates Op. 27; Au Rouet, Op. 13
    Label: Maguelone   Catalog: 111163 Release Date: 07/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eugène Ysaÿe
    Performer:  Marianne Piketty,  Stéphanie Fontanarosa
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  • 19.
    Ysaye, Reger, Kreisler, Bach, Piazzola: Violin Solo
    Label: Centaur Records   Catalog: 3225 Release Date: 05/28/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eugène Ysaÿe,  Fritz Kreisler,  Astor Piazzolla,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Linda Wang
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  • 20.
    Violin Lullabies / Rachel Barton Pine
    Label: Cedille Records   Catalog: 139 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Eugène Ysaÿe,  Vladimir I. Rebikov,  Amy Marcy Beach  ... 
    Performer:  Rachel Barton Pine,  Matthew Hagle
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  • 21.
    Ad Libitum / Sergei Kvitko
    Label: Blue Griffin   Catalog: 289 Release Date: 03/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Enrique Granados,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  Sergei Kvitko
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  • 22.
    Label: Cd Baby   Catalog: 5638063243 Release Date: 01/01/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Johannes Brahms,  Eugène Ysaÿe,  Henri Wieniawski  ... 
    Performer:  Toshiki Usui,  Ray Iwazumi
    CD: $31.99
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  • 23.
    Eugene Ysaye: Six Sonatas For Solo Violin, Op. 27 / Wanchi Huang
    Label: Centaur Records   Catalog: 3253 Release Date: 11/27/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eugène Ysaÿe
    Performer:  Wanchi Huang
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  • 24.
    Bach & Beyond, Part 1 / Koh
    Label: Cedille Records   Catalog: 134 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Eugène Ysaÿe,  Kaija Saariaho,  Missy Mazzoli
    Performer:  Jennifer Koh
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  • 25.
    Bach, Paganini, Ysaye: Teosed Sooloviiulile
    Label: Estonian Record Productions   Catalog: 3109 Release Date: 07/31/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Niccolò Paganini,  Eugène Ysaÿe,  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Sigrid Kuulmann
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